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Wrong Content Marketing and How to Avoid It


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Many brands are creating engaging, well-planned and useful content as part of their content marketing strategy. But in this post, I’m talking about the other guy. The one that practices the wrong content marketing. Without naming names, I’ll provide some examples of what not to do, and why not to do it.

The beggar

You’ll find many posts asking for likes, begging for re-tweets, and shamelessly pleading for shares.

Would you do that in person? No. Then don’t do so on a social media channel either; it’s precisely the wrong content marketing scheme.

If instead you created a piece of content, something funny for example, you wouldn’t need to beg for likes and shares.

The vote

Next, brands that ask the audience to vote on an A or B choice via “like” or “share.” Like if you think A, share if you think B.

What does this offer to your audience? Not a thing. It’s just a waste of your time and effort, another wrong content marketing tactic.

But, an exception is if you spark an emotional reaction or interest for your audience. For example when Twix launched a campaign pitting the left Twix against the right, they hit the mark. They extended that campaign into their social channels and made it interesting.

The holiday hustle

Holidays are a frequent excuse for brands to work content into an idea that’s already on everyone’s mind, but some feel no obligation to be relevant.

Simply observing a holiday and tossing in a pun doesn’t actually make you relevant.

While a tax preparation company has every reason to comment on the day taxes are due, there’s no reason for a toothpaste brand to do so.

I’d compare this to the guy in your office who “only does things on days that end in y.” It’s not funny, it provides no value, and it screams of desperation – and likely makes your co-workers want to scream too.

The calendar culprit

A staple on the Condescending Corporate Brand page is days of the week posts. They feature some of the laziest and most transparent content marketing on the web.

Unfortunately, unless you’re selling calendars, there’s no reason to tell anyone what day it is. Your audience already knows.

Wishing them a “Happy Friday” is just talking for the sake of talking. Bemoaning the return of Monday provides zero value.

A significant amount of it is lazy, just going through the motions to fill the content calendar. The worst of it is insulting, demeaning, and belittles the sensibilities of the very audience you want to reach.

How to get it right

Find inspiration in the examples on the Facebook Studio awards, celebrating the best of brand activity on Facebook and awarding the brands doing it right.

Your audience will like or share your content if it’s worthy, not because you beg them to, they voted for A over B, or it’s St. Patrick’s Day which happens to fall on a Tuesday.

Provide something of value and make it interesting, avoid the wrong content marketing strategy. That’s a sure path to being liked.

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